“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” James 1:5-8
“Until you value yourself, you will not value your time.
Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck
“Someday is not a day of the week.” ~Author Unknown
A reason to stay focused
Before I get into the points I have, first you’ll need to be aware of something extremely important. First of all the devil is a liar: For you are the children of your father the devil (referring to the Pharisees Jesus was arguing with), and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies, John 8:44. Why am I mentioning this?
To find out you’ll need to see Job 1:6-7: Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” That is literally saying, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on” NLT. Now I’m going to point out why I said he is liar: Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour 1 Peter 5:8.
I will reiterate the key point: seeking. This means in Job he lied straight to the King’s face! When he was asked, “From where do you come?” all he managed to come up with was that he was messing around, taking a stroll and seeing what’s going on. That is not true! Here is the reason why, it’s because he actually had an agenda! He was focused. If the enemy is focused and trying to “devour” the children of God, how much more focused do we have to be in everything we do?
Dealing with procrastination: staying focused
1] Locate the source of the problem. Naturally when there is a problem with and in anything, the easiest way to deal with it would be to find its source. For example, if ants were crawling all over your wall at your desk, you could spray all sorts of detergents to help limit the number of ants coming in, because the truth is, that’s exactly what the detergents will do. You, instead, want to find out where they are coming from and maybe also why, then the rest is smooth sailing from there. So ask yourself, “Why am I deciding not to do this now?”
2] Do it now! While that may seem obvious, if it really was, why put it down as a point?
3] Keep it well planned. The idea is to make sure the task is actually done. If you don’t have time to do it now, set an alarm on your mobile phone and write down what task you intend to do, then set the time you want to do it. Do the same with clocks that have timers and alarms.
4] Write a list of tasks and categorize them. Basically what you’re doing is you’re prioritizing the things that need to be done first, then moving to those things you want to get done. In my post, 6 things to do to encourage taking risks my first point is on stating the advantages and disadvantages of what you want to do. When prioritizing your tasks, it’s a good idea to think of that.
5] At the very least, limit all distractions. Only do this if you can’t block out all distractions. This is really important because the things we allow ourselves to be distracted with, when thinking about it at the end of the day, they really weren’t worth it.
6] Think about doing it quickly. This may be similar to point two but it’s not. There’s a difference between doing something now and slowly and doing it now and quickly. They actually go together! The quicker you get it done, the quicker you move on to doing what you like. As far as this is concerned, concentrate on efficiency because this is where the speed comes from.
7] Do one thing at a time. I know some of us pride ourselves in doing several things at once. Multitasking actually decreases productivity because a lot less attention is being given to the important task at hand. If you’re serious about completing your task, it’ll be the only thing you focus on until it’s done.
8] Ask for help. Not because you don’t know what you’re doing (unless you genuinely don’t) but because it’s easier to increase efficiency.
9] Have someone be accountable to you. That way you can be sure you’re going to do things you said you were going to do!
10] Delegate if necessary. The person/people do not have to be professional (unless required). If they are able to do it, then get them to. Only do this if you have too many things to do at the same time (as in the tasks clash) or if your schedule looks really busy. This will help take some weight off your shoulders.
11] Don’t lose focus. That is a key element in avoiding procrastination. At times even when all distractions are well out of your way, it’s easy for you to lose your passion, drive and determination to complete the task. Stay strong and keep going until the end. the thought of having done so will be so relieving!
12] If it’s a big task, split it up! Doing it in bit-size chunks, helps not only mentally but physically and emotionally too.
13] Reward yourself. If you made your meeting when you said you were going to, treat yourself to something because that is an accomplishment! Always acknowledge humble beginnings.
14] Be committed to doing at least one of these points. You’d be amazed at how many people will say, “Yeah that’s a good point I’ll try it,” walk away and forget what they were supposed to do!
Here are posts that may help with this:
5 ways to take baby steps in life
12 ways to begin reading more books (some of the points can be applied to other parts of your life)
3 core principles for self-development